|Easter Sunday, 16 Apr 2017|
From the Dean's desk
Today we celebrate the great solemnity of Easter - a time when “God our Father by raising Christ...has conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life” (Opening Prayer for Easter Sunday morning Mass). Knowing and living by this fact we can indeed proclaim the words of the Responsorial Psalm for today: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad’.
The basis for our rejoicing and gladness is indeed the fact that through the Resurrection, the power of death over us has been overcome. This does not mean that there will be no more occurrence of suffering, pain or death in our life. It means that death does not have the final say in our lives anymore. It means that we can, through the power of the Risen Christ, overcome the weaknesses, disillusionments and disappointments of life.
The celebration of Easter challenges us to live out in our lives the power of the Paschal Mystery – the suffering, death and Resurrection of Christ. It urges us to recognise that we have to live out the pattern of Jesus suffering and death in order for us to live and be affected by the power of His Resurrection. The letter to the Philippians takes up this theme as it states: … ‘that I may come to know him and the power of his resurrection, and partake of his sufferings by being moulded to the pattern of his death…’ [3:10].
We need to recognise that the pattern of the Paschal Mystery is imbedded in our lives: joy, suffering, disillusionment, death and resurrection. We experience this in all elements of our life – especially in our relationships. I invite you to read and meditate on Luke 24:13-35 [Gospel reading for Easter Sunday evening Mass], the Gospel that depicts the disciples leaving Jerusalem and heading back to Emmaus full of disillusionment and despair as they believe that their hopes and dreams have been erased with the death of Jesus. So great is their despair that they fail to recognise him as he appears to them on the road. It is only at the breaking of the bread that they recognise who he is. On the way they find that their hearts are burning within them as they hear Jesus expound the Scriptures.
This is what Easter faith is all about – our not being overcome by despair but seeing in Jesus the reason for our hope and life. Without the hope of, and in, Christ’s Resurrection, then this experience can usually end with death. The Easter story challenges us to see that this pattern of suffering, death and new life can be experienced in all aspects of our life. With our faith and hope in the power of Jesus’ Resurrection we can overcome all aspects of sin, disillusionment and even death. This is indeed the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in him. May the renewal and spiritual advances made during our Lenten journey deepen and strengthen our faith in this reality. May the Risen Christ and the power of his Resurrection be with you today and always.
Fr Robert Bossini